Friday, November 17, 2006

Western Augusta County on a fall afternoon....

The thing I like about my Magisterial District is that it covers territory west of Staunton all the way to Bath and Highland Counties. There's National Forest in there as well as farms, hunting camps, lots of undeveloped land, and mountains.

In those mountains there are backroads that I enjoy checking out from time to time.

Today, as I rode out that way to remove political signs, I couldn't help but take a detour up Old Parkersburg Turnpike, one of my favorites. This is a gravel road that crosses the mountains ... it's the old road that was there before the present Rt. 42 was blasted open at Buffalo Gap decades ago. As one of the older residents told me five years ago, when he was a young boy the trip from Craigsville to Staunton took two days because of those backroads ... a trip that takes 30 minutes today.

The Shenandoah Valley and surrounding mountains received torrents of rain yesterday which now has the mountains seeping and the streams at full-bank. On Parkersburg Turnpike the creek overflowed its banks and washed out areas of the road.

I wasn't able to make it to my usual quiet spot because of mud and water ... and my desire not to get stuck so far from help. A road grader was spreading gravel onto the roadway where the edges had been chiseled out by rushing water. A resident was working on his driveway; a "high water" sign warned motorists that the road ahead was closed.

Still ... there was serenity in listening to the rushing water and the wind through the trees....

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